With October quickly coming to a close, November will be here before we know it! Something we like to remind our customers, and all Canadians, is that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, with World Diabetes Day being celebrated every year on November 14th. We’d also like to shed light on the fact that detecting diabetes in an individual is possible through an eye exam!
Here at Hakim Optical, we recommend to our customers that they should be partaking in an eye exam every 2-years, as vision and prescription needs can change over time. While these exams are important for making sure you are wearing the correct kind of eyewear, they are also important in identifying a very specific disease caused by diabetes, that being Diabetic Retinopathy (DR).
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
DR is the most common diabetic eye disease, and according to Diabetes Canada, affects 500,000 Canadians. It is caused when there is too much sugar in an individual’s blood, which in turn will cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. After too much damage to the retina, which is the tissue lining the back of the eye, a person’s vision will be reduced and become splotchy and darkened.
How Will an Eye Exam Help?
Since diabetes will affect your vision over time, not just instantly, getting eye exams regularly will help to detect any changes in your vision, potentially catching the disease before even being diagnosed with diabetes. A yearly eye exam is also part of Diabetes Canada’s recommended steps in complete diabetes management for those who are already diagnosed.
What Happens During an Eye Exam?
During an exam, beyond just measuring for your prescription, a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist will put drops in your eyes to help dilate your pupils. Once they have expanded, the professional doing your test will be able to examine your eyes with a special magnifying lens, providing a clear view to the back of the eye. Now that they can see further into your eyes, they will assess them for any retina damage, and then fill you in on any red flags that may have appeared.
While some Canadians only ever get their eyes checked when there is a noticeable change in their vision, do yourself a favour this November and get an eye exam proactively!